Otro análisis retrospectivo sobre políticas económicas públicas. En este caso no se trata de los efectos de la propiedad intelectual sobre la innovación en un sector sino de los efectos de la construcción de una red de ferrocarriles sobre diversos sectores.
We study the impact of transportation infrastructure on agriculture and
development in colonial Ghana. Two railway lines were built between 1901 and 1923 to connect the coast to mining areas and the large hinterland city of Kumasi. This unintendedly opened vast expanses of tropical forest to cocoa cultivation, allowing Ghana to become the world’s largest producer.
This attracted migrants to producing areas and the economic surplus drove
urbanization. Using data at a very fine spatial level, we find a strong effect
of railroad connectivity on cocoa production due to reduced transportation costs. We then show that the economic boom in cocoa-producing areas was associated with demographic growth and urbanization. We find no spurious effect from lines that were not built yet, and lines that were planned but never built. We show that our results are robust to considering nearest neighbor estimators. Lastly, railway construction has durably transformed the economic geography of Ghana, as railway districts are more developed today, despite thirty years of marked decline in rail transportation.
Exactamente lo mismo es (debería de ser) aplicable a las zonas que se encuentran cerca de las principales rutas de transporte marítimo, las Trade Lanes, dónde también se está concentrando las zonas urbanas.